Possible Running Shoes – List Narrowed Down

Last week I talked about starting the process to research which running shoes I should get for my next pair – probably sometime in March, but sooner if my Peregrines start to really bother my heel.

The big reason for the research is to narrow down the shoes from everything that is available to about 20 or so, that I would want to look at more closely to see how they match my running needs.

Background and Requirements

My running information and requirements for my new shoes are:

  • I am currently running 25+ miles a week and would like to be running 40+ miles a week by the end of the summer. I do like to run faster (even though I am still pretty slow now) and my goal this summer is to run a sub 20:00 5K and possibly run in a 1/2 marathon (we will see how this goes).
  • During the past two months I have worked hard to change my running form back to being a forefoot runner, to help reduce the impact and stress to my knees. I have had great success with the Peregrine’s 4MM drop (no injuries) and would like to stay with a zero to 4 MM drop in my new shoes. This seems style to be working a lot better than other shoes have for me. I like the lower heel height.
  • I do have shoes that I can wear for racing or track interval workouts, but not an extra pair of shoes that are in good enough shape to wear as an alternate daily trainer. I have some older shoes that I could wear occasionally if my new ones need to dry out or something, but I wouldn’t put them into a regular shoe rotation.
  • I live in the country, so I do a lot of running on both tar and dirt roads.
  • During the spring, summer and into late fall, I will be running non-technical trails 1-2 times a week. Initially I might be able to still use the Peregrines, until they really start to bother my heel.
  • Luckily winter will be mostly over by the time I get these shoes and I won’t have to worry so much about snow and ice during most of this shoe’s running life.
  • No treadmill running, strictly outdoor running.
  • Whatever shoe I buy, probably will be a hybrid running shoe style, to do everything that I will ask of it. Since it will be the shoe that I will wear running 90% of the time.

Narrowed the Choices Down

I have narrowed the shoes down to certain companies and the shoes that I would like to learn more about over the next few weeks:

  • Adidas – Original Blue Marathon Trainer with Dillinger Web – A guy can dream can’t he. 😉
  • Altra – Instinct or Lone Peak – These are still a new shoe company.  However, their presence and engagement on Twitter has been a very good selling point (I have talked with their rep more than a couple of times and they have been very helpful) and many of the reviews I have read have nothing but positives to say about them
  • Brooks – the shoes in their Pure Project series – I have heard a lot of very good reviews about these shoes, but that they are supposedly a little narrow for some people
  • Merrell – Trail Glove, Road Glove
  • Mizuno – Wave Universe, Ronin
  • New Balance – MT101 or 110
  • Newton – Newton Momentum Trail Guidance Trainer – The price scares me on the Newtons, they may be a nice shoe, but very pricey. However, I really like the idea of a shoe that actively promotes forefoot running.
  • Nike – Free – I have run in a lot of Nike shoes and always look at them before I buy something.
  • Saucony – Peregrine, Kinvara, Hattori  – I have had good luck with Saucony, until they get about 200-250 miles on them and then my left heel wears a hole in the back of the shoe, which eventually causes blisters on that foot. Can’t figure out why it happens, but it only seems to be with Saucony shoes? My Peregrines which I love, made it to almost 260 miles before the hole got noticeable, but haven’t started any blister action yet.
  • Vibram  – I really want to try the VFF, but am concerned about the amount of time it might take me to get acclimated to the shoe and if I decide to do longer distances, would it have enough support/cushioning for me to be successful. To be honest – I am rather scared to pull the trigger on this one and not have any other shoes to run in, if they don’t work for me.

Narrowing down the number of shoes that are out there to the ones above wasn’t easy, but I tried to stay with more minimal shoes that will promote a forefoot strike, have a lower heel height and had good reviews from other bloggers.

The Reality is that

I do think that it is important to do your own research on running shoes, because you are going to be spending a lot of money, time and putting many miles on your new running shoes, you need to be fairly knowledgeable about the choices that are out there for you. It is great to go to a specialty running store and have an “expert” help you choose a shoe that meets your needs, but in the end it is you that is going to be running in the shoe, not them.

Your Choice

Like the salesperson will tell you, which shoes you finally chose will be your choice not the salesperson’s. Personally I would prefer to have it be a fairly knowledgeable choice, instead of a momentary whim on which of three shoe models feels best and that were brought out by someone who has known me for 5-10 minutes.

Questions for Readers

  • Are there any shoes that I “have” to look at besides the ones I have listed above? Please let me know which one and why you recommend that shoe.
  • Do you have any first hand experience with these shoes, what was it? If I have talked with you about shoes before, you don’t have to repeat yourself again :-).


I know to buy some of these shoes it will either be done online (which I am hesitant to do if it is a shoe I haven’t tried on – I like to know how it feels on my feet before I buy it)  or I will have to go down to Portland to the Maine Running Company, which is okay – I like going to their store and then running Back Cove in my new shoes :-). Win-Win.

No I am not looking for a free handout or anything else, I just want some good, no great information on these shoes, that I am researching, hopefully information beyond the marketing hype on the websites and more to the point why I should be running in them and how they fit my running requirements/needs.

Enhanced by Zemanta

17 comments on “Possible Running Shoes – List Narrowed Down

  1. I switched from Nike to New Balance 3 years ago and haven’t looked back! I don’t know if i would go with the vibrams, they would take quite a bit of time to get use to them..


    • We have a couple of New Balance factory outlet stores in the area and a big sale every August at the Factory about 1/2 hour from where I live, but I had some bad problems with the last pair I had and haven’t been back to them since. They are on the list because it would be nice to support a “local” business and I have heard some great things about the MT series. 🙂

  2. I run in VFFs most of the time now. I’ve never gone longer than 7+ miles in them, but I have a good friend who’s worn VFFs in two marathons (and qualified for Boston in them). I also have the Brooks Pure Connect and I LOVE them, but I’m having issues with my toe splay from barefoot running being too wide for most shoes (major problem with the Newton’s because the toe box is fairly narrow – sad because they are so darned expensive). If you really want to try the VFFs, I’d recommend those + another more padded shoe for your longer runs because they do take a while to get used to.

    • That is the biggest problem I face with going to VFF’s is that I don’t have the budget for two pair of shoes right now, so pulling the trigger on the VFF probably won’t happen.

  3. for what it is worth.. I just passed 800 mile on my nike free run+ they are worn out a bit, but the fact is they are holding up. I am not the only guy with that kind of mileage on them either.

    I also run in the New Balance MT 101 on the trails…. very light and quick, they dry super fast, btu they keep no water out… better for summer trails than winter ones…

    • Thanks Eric – I have always looked at the Nike Shoes, may not always get them, but I always consider them. I looked at the NB at Dick’s today (didn’t try them on) and they sure are not for cold weather running-possibly 3 season, but that is all. Lot of research to do still and you know something part of the reason I will buy a shoe nowadays is the connection that I make with that company, their reps on Twitter or what people say about a shoe here in social media land.

  4. I have two pair of shoes that I run in – the New Balance Minimus (which has the Vibram bottom) and the Newtons. The NBM are great for speed workouts but I found that the Newtons work best for runs longer than 9+ miles. I was trying to do 15 milers in the NBM and my knee was really hurting after about 10 miles. I’ve had Newtons now for about 2 years and can’t even remember what other shoes feel like. They are definitely pricey but I did PR in the marathon by 13 minutes last year and had no injuries or even the slightest pain. I know everyone has their shoe that works best for them, but I’ve found Newtons to definitely be worth the investment. Hope my 2 cents help =)

    • The no injury is the thing that I am most concerned about. A few dollars investment is worth it to me if I don’t have as many injuries. Well they will be one of the shoes that I try out when I got for a fitting 🙂

  5. Pingback: Easy Run Today – 2-5-12 « A Veteran Runnah

  6. Pingback: Easy Run Today – 2-5-12 « A Veteran Runnah

  7. Pingback: AVR Week In Review – 1/29/12 « A Veteran Runnah

  8. Pingback: Narrowed the Choices Down to 5 Running Shoes « A Veteran Runnah

  9. Pingback: A Veteran Runnah

  10. Pingback: Running Shoes – Time to Rewind and Start Over « A Veteran Runnah

  11. Pingback: AVR – Running Week in Review–4/15/12 « A Veteran Runnah

I moderate all comments, if it is inappropriate it will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s